Medieval Ireland to be focus of 3D lecture

Jan. 20, 2012

Dr. Kevin Shirley, Associate Professor of History, will present the first of this year's 3D Journeys lectures at 10 a.m. Jan. 23 in the Dickson Assembly Room.

The 2012 theme of the lecture-and-travel series is Ireland, and Dr. Shirley's topic will be the medieval history of the Emerald Isle.

"This talk will introduce folks to the fascinating and complex world that we call medieval Ireland," he said. "We will look at that period known as the 'golden age' of Ireland in the early Middle Ages, and then try to get some sense of the impact of Viking raids and an English invasion."

Ireland was known as the "island of saints and scholars" from the sixth to the ninth centuries partly because of the number of scholars at Irish monasteries. The strength of Irish monastic learning, coupled with their missionary work in England and on the continent had a powerful impact on early medieval Europe. The Irish story began a new chapter however, first with the arrival of the Vikings and then especially with the English. "This is important because of the interplay between English and Gaelic and its implications for the future," Dr. Shirley said.

The second year of 3D Journeys has started off with a bang, with the trip to Ireland in late May already selling out. President Dan McAlexander said he is thrilled with the bonds the series is making between the college and the community.

"It is exciting to see friends, new and old, come back to campus for our second series of enlightening and invigorating lectures," he said. "We are always proud to share our exceptional faculty with the community as they help us study another wonderful destination in depth."

Future lectures will be Feb. 27, with Kim Barber Knoll, Chair of the Theatre Arts Department, speaking on Irish drama; March 26, with Dr. Jon Ernstberger, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, discussing Irish efforts in sustainability; and April 23, when Provost David Garrison will explore Irish literature.

The talks will be held at 10 a.m. on the fourth Monday through April in the Dickson Assembly Room in Turner Hall. Parking is available adjacent to the pedestrian bridge across Vernon Street, with shuttle service to the door. There is no charge for any of the lectures, and a Dutch treat lunch will be available in Pitts Dining Hall following each event.

Each lecture stands on its own. No preparation is necessary, but optional reading lists are available for those who want to delve deeper into the topics. Reservations are suggested, but not required. Call (706) 880-8244 or e-mail 3DJourneys@lagrange.edu.



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